The Kills
Sun July 14
Pretend you're in the band The Kills, and it's summertime. Family event season. Uncomfortable clothes, uncomfortable conversation, shitty domestic beer. At this point, it has been a couple hours since the initial "How are you?"--"I am good"--conversation with various distant family members, and the first few cans of Miller Lite, when an equally Miller Lite'd Aunt Louise approaches you.

"Are you still in a band? Have you played any concerts lately? When are you going to play Leno, ha ha? What's the name of your group?"

The Kills. It's as if you are hearing this word combination for the first time. When said to a relative, the name sounds more like a sitcom prop for a teen-fight-with-parents storyline than your band. Should you have prepared a fake name and fake description of your sound for an answer in these situations? "We are called Moon Boots and we sound just like Hootie and the Blowfish," would certainly cause less of a disturbance than, "We're called The Kills and we play garage rock that has more of a badass swagger then anything you could imagine."

Anything that your Aunt Louise could imagine, perhaps; but from the acute perspective of an underground rock listener, these are the days of whitey soul, throwback rock, and two-piece, co-ed garage bands. Filling all these descriptions--and living in Britain, to boot--The Kills barely escape getting lost in the rubble. But they do it, because they appear to be legit, and there is enough variety in their sound, from a lo-fi blues serenade to a straight-ahead Joan Jett rock out, to a surprisingly entertaining art piece about gum. The Kills EP, Black Rooster (Dim Mak Records), runs a bit of a gamut, while still retaining an original cohesiveness--all thanks to the boy-girl, guitar-drum wail of two cats who call themselves VV and Hotel.

This music is not just some record to slap on after you put away your only "nice" outfit. And Joan Jett didn't go to family reunions. She only came off the steamy slick highway to play the rock and fuck shit up. Right?